Thursday, October 25, 2012

24 weeks pregnant

I am so pleased to be at this stage in pregnancy, the last few weeks have been more than a little exciting and filled with lots and lots of prayer from us as well as many of our friends and family.


This is the second week that I have been on modified bed rest and over the last week and a half that I have been home we have had 5 hospital/doctors visits including 2 ultrasounds and a few calls back and forth to the doctors and midwives.

This week the ultrasound showed that the stitch is still doing it's job and my cervix still has a closed portion of 24mm (26mm last week and 13mm prior to the stitch)

I have what they call funnelling of the cervix as per the diagram below, the funnelling is on the baby's side of the cervix.


This week the funnelling has widened which is not alarming but not great either, so I am putting my feet up as much as possible :-)

We have been very blessed with the team of doctors and specialists that have been working with us throughout this pregnancy and have only praise for all of the staff that we have encountered both through this pregnancy and our previous ones.

Unfortunately our local hospital is not equipped to look after premature babies and therefore it is likely that I will be heading off in the next week or two, to the Nepean Hospital in Sydney to stay there on bed rest until the baby is born as they have a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

At this stage it is a matter of when. I have just spoken to the Nepean Clinic and now have an appointment with the Specialist next week for an assessment and I say that we will know more then. 

It really is a waiting game for us now and we are thankful for every extra day that bub stays put and when the days add up to a week we are thrilled, hopefully the weeks will continue to add up so we can give our precious baby the best start possible.

At baby born at 24 weeks is considered viable and has a 40 -50% chance of survival however the average hospital stay for babies this premature seems to be around 23.5 weeks. 

I am feeling great physically which I find slightly ironic since I have to spend most of my time lying around. I have no unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, no heartburn, no continuous aches or pains and I am still sleeping comfortably. 

I have started wearing maternity clothes and I have found new ways to wear my existing clothes, luckily I have a few baby doll tops and dresses as well as stretchy clothes that still work well.

I don't have any bleeding, increased discharge or cramping at this stage but find that I am always looking for any unusual signs and have to keep myself from overreacting.



Thanks for your continued support and prayers, I will aim to keep my pregnancy story updated regularly as I have found reading the stories of other people who have been in this situation really helpful, sometimes sad and other times very encouraging but all of them have been empowering me with knowledge and that is a great thing.

xx

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A letter to my teenager

Happy 13th Birthday Nicholas



 
I am just amazed at how quickly 13 years have flown by, it feels like just yesterday that I was holding my newborn son in my arms wondering what kind of person you would become and how I could be the best mother for you.




I am so honoured to be your Mum and so proud of the young man that you have grown into. We had bumpy  times along the way but we had lots and lots of fabulous times together and created so many happy memories.




You have been blessed with so many gifts and I pray that you use them all to the best of your ability. I love how you enjoy solving maths problems and I love how you laugh as your reading your latest book. I love that you share the funny stuff with me and that you are able to talk to me about so many things.
I love how you are willing to participate in so many things and don't need to be the best at those things in order to give them a go. 




At first I didn't like the idea of you getting taller than me and yes I tried to fight it for a while and made sure my heels got higher in order to stay that little bit ahead but now I love that you have grown so tall and so capable. It is wonderful to have your help with daily things and I am so thankful that you are so willing to help without complaint. 

Your are 13 years old and you are 6 foot tall, I am so pleased you enjoy your height and don't slouch or hunch your shoulders. I do however hope you slow down a bit because if your size 12 feet continue to grow so quickly you will struggle to find shoes that fit you :-)



I can continue to say so many more wonderful things that I love about you but I prefer to tall you in person and I will make sure that I continue to do that every day. 



You are an amazing son and I am a very proud mother and I look forward to watching you grow into an awesome man.

Love Mum
xx

Friday, October 19, 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

Theses goodies have been sitting in various spots around the house for the last couple of weeks waiting for me to take some photos and add them to the store.

It's funny but this last week I often catch a glimpse of the red and I'll read the quote and I will "Keep Calm" and I do "Carry on". 

It has been an interesting week, no major problems just trying to take it easy, not panic over every little twinge or ache and trying not to think negatively. Finding a balance between being aware of your body and picking up on anything that could be a sign of early labour without overreacting is tricky but I will just keep praying through it and continue to be thankful for each day that our precious bub stays put.

Anyway, enough whining, I really wanted to share my new goodies with you.

These coasters are a gorgeous colour and are $11.95 for a set of four. Get them here.


This sign is a fabulous size 60 x 80 cm and is only $49.95. You can buy it here.


I love the clock, cute and practical, only $22.95 from here.




and lastly a vintage take on burlap, 30 x 60 cm, $29.95 and available here.



Hope you all have a great weekend!

xx




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Win - Digital Scrapbooking Software

I have been playing around a bit more with my digital scrapbooking software (now that I have lots of time resting with my feet up).

I thought I would try putting together a wedding album for us and then I decided to export it as a movie. 

I am so impressed with the software you can export to print, have your album professionally printed, export to DVD or as a movie.



video



If you would like a chance to win your very own copy of My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software head over here. Give away closes tonight.

On a personal note I am doing well so far. Thank you for all of your lovely wishes and prayers. I had a follow up ultrasound on Monday morning and the stitch looked like it was doing it's job with the closed cervix measuring 26mm (improved from 13mm). Bub looks great and continues to kick around energetically with lots of fluid around him still.

I am making sure I take it easy and have my feet up most of the day.

Thanks again, you are all so lovely
xx

PS:  I saved the movie in a low resolution so I didn't clog up your internet. You can save it in a much higher resolution and it looks fantastic.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A pregnancy update

Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes it is such a comfort to us knowing that we have so many people surrounding  us in prayer.

The procedure went well yesterday and bub is looking good too. I am going home today and will be monitored closely over the next few weeks to make sure the stitch is doing it's job and the cervix remains closed.

Once again thank you, reading all of your messages really helped keep me positive and at peace throughout the whole thing.

Nellie
xx

Friday, October 12, 2012

Your Prayers Please


I have a huge favour to ask of all of my wonderful friends. 

You have journeyed with me through struggles with losing our precious babies and have rejoiced with me when I shared this pregnancy, unfortunately during my routine scan on Monday my cervix looked unusual and yesterday it was confirmed that my cervix has shortened. I am currently in hospital waiting to go into surgery to get an emergency cervical cerclage ( a stitch to assist in keeping my cervix closed), there are risks and I would appreciate all of your prayers and good thoughts to help us through this.

As things progress and as I can I will keep you up to date.

Therefore encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 

Thank you, you have all been so wonderful
xx

PS. Just a quick reminder regarding my giveaway where you can win you own copy of digital scrapbooking software to enter is easy and you can do it here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Memories Suite Giveaway

A little while ago I was contacted by the lovely Liz at My Memories Suite asking me is I would like to review their digital scrapbooking software and perhaps give a free copy of the software away to one of my wonderful readers.

To be honest I loved the idea as I have been so slack with our photos ever since I bought a digital camera. Our photos never get printed and therefore my scrapbooking has been non existent for many years. So when Liz contacted me I thought this may be the perfect solution and I was more than happy to test the software.

At the moment I have a lot on my mind and in order to get me interested the software had to be user friendly, not complicated and responsive. Fortunately My Memories Suite is, I have only just scratched the surface of what can be done but I am very impressed. I made a very basic album and I still think it looks great. The following few pages truly took me about 10 mins to put together. 







There are so many templates and so many features to use. You can add text to any page, you can format the text with so many styles you can add embellishments, shapes, video, music and narration. I have played with the software a bit but there is so much more to discover and I was just so excited to share it all with you and give you all a chance to win a copy for yourself.

The following is taken from MyMemories.com

MyMemories Suite v3 software is a complete digital scrapbooking solution that provides a comprehensive powerful set of creative tools no other scrapbook software can offer. With its intuitive workspace and enhanced time-saving features, this application is perfect for a beginner to create a complete album in minutes, or to empower the design pro to build a scrapbook album masterpiece.
Create scrapbook albums with MyMemories Suite digital scrapbooking software

Making a Scrapbook

MyMemories Suite will help you create your beautiful pages from scratch or build an entire album using one of the many professionally-designed scrapbook templates provided within the scrapbook software. A large collection of papers and embellishments are also included and available at your fingertips to help you make each page uniquely your own.
If this were any other scrapbooking software, you might be finished. But with My Memories Suite, the real power-and fun-of this software is just beginning. There are so many ways to save and share your memories, you will wonder how you ever got along without it.

So for your chance to win your very own copy of My Memories Suite software head over to their website and then leave a comment on this post telling me which layout is your favourite.
The give away is open to everyone (international readers as well) just make sure that I have a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner.
Giveaway closes a week from today, 
Midnight Wednesday 17th October 2012 AEST.
For extra entries you can
Follow me
or 




Just leave me a comment letting me know.

Good luck and thank you to Liz and the team at My Memories Suite for this fantastic offer.

xx

UPDATED 19/10/2012
This give away is now closed. 
Congratulations to Laura on being the winner of the My Memories Suite digital software.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nicholas 13th Birthday Inspiration

My big boy turns 13 in just over a week. It is amazing how time flies and last week I finally ordered all of the supplies and am getting organised for his party.


He seems to be quite excited about it and I thought I would share my inspiration pics with you all.


All images can be found on my pinterest board and from there you should hopefully be able to trace the original source.


Hope you are all having a great week 



and any tips on keeping a dozen teenage boys manageable would be appreciated :-)




 xx

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Second Chances

Last week I was reminded of how blessed I am to have the life I do. I am blessed that I was given a second chance at love and at happiness and I am so thankful that I chose to take it.


 Last week my wonderful husband bought me a gorgeous bunch of flowers and hand delivered it to me with a hand written card expressing his love and happiness.

Six years ago I met the man who was to become my husband. For me there was no lightning bolt or any particular moment when I knew he was the one. In fact the thought never crossed my mind. For me love came slowly but then quickly.....


I had finally decided that it was time to stop waiting for things to change before I did some of the things I wanted to do. I had always wanted to learn ballroom dancing and unfortunately following my failed first marriage I had been single for over 5 years. I decided that even though I didn't have a partner I could still learn, so off I went to the local bowling club where a group met once a week for social dancing and lessons. It was great, there were many older males who didn't have partners and who were only too happy to help me learn. I quickly discovered that the older gentlemen were much better to dance with as they new how to lead and that made it much easier for me to learn how to dance. 

Anyway..... one week at dancing my future husband's mother came. I knew Nick's mum from Nicholas' school. Nick = husband, Nicholas = son. That's how we distinguish them in our house. It still gets confusing at times, Nick's family still call him Nicholas occasionally and Nicholas' friends all call him Nic, it makes for some interesting conversations sometimes until I realise I am talking about the wrong Nick :-)


Nick's mum was a teacher at Nicholas'school as well as my P & F buddy (it was a small P & F, I nearly 
walked out of my first meeting when I thought I might have to take one of the three positions on the committee, fortunately a fourth person walked in late and I was saved) One night Nick's mum came to the club for dancing as her eldest son was getting married and the bridal party, as well as the family wanted to learn how to dance for the Bridal Waltz etc. They ended up getting private lessons but a few months later just after the eldest's wedding it was time to prepare for Nick's sister's wedding. The family had all enjoyed dancing so much they decided to continue with lessons however Nick no longer had a dance partner and his Mum thought of me. 

Like I said I had no romantic inclinations at all. Nick was only 22, I was almost 30 and a single mother of a 7 year old. I was just there to dance. I enjoyed the company and his family are all lovely, even when I was invited to the wedding as Nick's partner I thought nothing of it, just figuring that we were able to participate in the family dance together. 

After the wedding Nick told me how he felt and I was quite horrified, I even said "What will your mother think?" Lucky for me he was quite persistent and very convincing and after a few months I agreed to officially date him, six months later we were engaged and then a further five months and we were married.


It was a wonderful courtship but also very difficult. I had a lot of healing to do and Nick prayerfully, patiently and lovingly helped me begin to overcome all of the baggage I still carried from my past. So while it took me a while to realise I was in love, once I did I fell head over heels.

I didn't make it very easy to love me back, I pushed Nick away many times expecting him to react in a certain way and he always surprised me by responding with love and understanding, he showed me that whilst he loved me and wanted to make me happy he still stood firm in his beliefs.

Our first year as a married couple and blended family was not easy either, we had lots of disagreements, I had lots of tears, Nicholas struggled to adjust to having a male authority figure around as well as sharing his mum with someone else. It was definitely an interesting year but through that year I grew to love my husband more and more every day and I still do. He is my best friend, I love spending time with him, in fact I prefer hanging out with him more than anyone else. He makes me so happy, he challenges me and makes me want to be a better wife, mother, friend and human being. 


Thank you Nick for the last 6 years, they have been the best and I am looking forward to spending many, many more with you and facing all of the tough times together, celebrating all of the good times and just hanging out with my best friend. 

xx

Have you been given a second chance that has changed your life? I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Babies & Prams - help needed

I am asking for advice from all of my knowledgeable friends out there.

Now that we are in the second half of this pregnancy we are starting to think about what we will need for bub. At the moment I am really focused on getting a pram/stroller that I am happy with. 

I have a few requirements and I think that in order to get something I am happy with I am willing to invest a bit more in it.

My requirements are:

Lightweight - I found when I had Nicholas (years ago) that even a few kilos makes a big difference and I ditched the bulky pram early on in favour of a better quality stroller that had a lay back options and higher handles.

Ability to add a toddler seat

Suitable from birth to toddler

Compact - I don't want anything too wide or bulky, when we go away I don't want the pram taking up a third of the space we have

All terrain - I want to be able to go for walks easily and not battle with gutters or dirt tracks

I think that's about it, I would love to hear your recommendations and opinions on prams/strollers that you own or have used. Please spill all, the good and the bad I am finding it all a little confusing.



The steelcraft strider seems to be very popular but also very wide and perhaps a little bulky


Steelcraft have just released a compact version of the Strider that sounds better, narrower and lighter


Phil & Ted have a few from their range that seem to fit my requirements

Please help??? What do you think?

Photos from Steelcraft and Phil & Ted's websites